Independent report finds UK leads the way with AI Standards Hub

19/10/2023

THE AI Standard Hub, the first body of its kind anywhere in the world, has helped the UK have an internationally recognised voice in the development of AI-related standards, a new independent report has found.

In October 2022, the UK launched the AI Standards Hub, which supports organisations to participate in and inform international standardisation efforts. AI standards are tools that help us create, use, and implement artificial intelligence. These standards are vital in ensuring that AI is trustworthy, secure, and ethical, while also encouraging creativity, compatibility, and international collaboration.

Since its launch, the UK’s AI Standards Hub has solidified the UK’s position to have a real-world impact on the AI standardisation landscape, according to the independent report by Oxford Information Labs.

The Hub’s focus has been on enhancing understanding of AI standards, with nearly 70% of participants confirming that it has empowered the UK AI community to influence and participate in setting standards. 67% of respondents considered the Hub as the top coalition in the UK for promoting international discussions in AI standards.

Minister for Tech and the Digital Economy Paul Scully said:

“In the face of the rapidly evolving AI landscape, the UK’s leadership in AI standards has been significantly bolstered by the groundbreaking work of the AI Standards Hub.

“The Hub’s commitment to fostering collaboration and its dedication to promoting responsible AI innovation are pivotal to the nation’s role as a global influencer in AI standards.

“As the world continues to grapple with the challenges and opportunities presented by AI technologies, the UK stands at the forefront, showcasing its commitment to ensuring the safe, ethical, and responsible development of AI.”

The AI Standards Hub is a central part of the National AI Strategy, led by the Alan Turing Institute, the British Standards Institution and the National Physical Laboratory. This collaboration perfectly demonstrates how academia, members of the UK national quality infrastructure and government are working together.

Dr Jean Innes, CEO at The Alan Turing Institute, said:

“We’re delighted with the impact of the AI Standards Hub as the leading coalition in the UK facilitating conversations around AI standards and the creation of an engaged community, as evidenced in this report.

“We look forward to working with our partners to enhance the work of the Hub, in particular expanding internationally in the next phase.”

Scott Steedman, Director-General, British Standards Institution (BSI) said:

“AI is a transformational technology. For it to be a powerful force for good in society, we must ensure that high standards for safety and security are developed that work seamlessly with regulation and market assurance.

“BSI was delighted to have partnered on the pilot stage of the AI Standards Hub to raise the profile of the role of standards and assurance in the implementation and governance of trustworthy AI. Our independent research has shown that the majority of AI users globally want international guidelines for the safe use of AI.

“Ensuring that robust guidelines, a common language and strong governance are embedded in consensus standards of good practice that can be adopted by countries worldwide is vital to create the enabling framework for AI to benefit society.”

Dr Peter Thompson, CEO, National Physical Laboratory (NPL) said:

“Technical measurement standards are a critical part of the standards journey, and NPL is proud to be playing our part in helping to advance the responsible, safe and confident use of AI.

Solutions that help address major global challenges, such as climate change and energy resilience, are and will be driven by data, at the speed of AI, so the need for standards to support regulation and governance is critical.

“Technical measurement standards, underpinned by metrology, permit the assessment of the safety and trustworthiness of AI, as well as provide benchmarks for standards. We look forward to expanding the work and reach of the hub, to support stakeholders across our economy and society, nationally and internationally.”

The government is working with Hub partners to take on board the findings to continue the successful impact of the AI Standards Hub.

This work complements the UK’s approach to AI Safety globally, supporting the UK’s leadership in hosting the world’s first truly global AI Safety Summit at Bletchley Park on 1 and 2 November 2023.

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